White Chocolate Mousse Cherry Pie

Good morning everyone!! I thought since it’s Saturday, we could do a fun weekend recipe πŸ™‚

I saw this recipe in one of my magazines and was immediately drawn to it. I just love the way all the layers look. So elegant. Kind of like a tuxedo with a red rose in the collar. Super simple, but yet classic. Not to mention tastes amazing! The only thing I can say I wish I knew before I started this recipe is, be really careful not to over whip the whipping cream. You don’t want to take it past the “soft peeks” stage. But other then that, this recipe was pretty simple and absolutely delicious. Enjoy!!

Printable Recipe

White Chocolate Mousse Cherry Pie
     14 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
     3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
     2 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
     1 tablespoon cornstarch
     2 tablespoons water
     1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
     1/2 teaspoon almond extract

White Chocolate Mousse:
     1 cup cold 2% milk
     1 package (3.3 ounces) instant white chocolate pudding mix
     1 envelope unflavored gelatin
     3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
     1/4 cup sugar
     1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Chocolate Syrup and Curls, Optional

In a food processor, combine cookies and nuts; cover and process until the cookies are finely chopped.

Add butter; cover and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. deep-dish pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes of until set. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, combine cornstarch and water in a small saucepan until smooth.

Stir in pie filling. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in extract. Cool completely.

For mousse, in a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes; set aside. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cream; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, beat remaining cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and extracts; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in gelatin mixture. Fold into pudding. Refrigerate until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.

Spread cooled filling into crust.

Top with mousse. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Garnish with chocolate syrup and curls if desired.

Printable Recipe

Recipe from Taste of Home “Grand Prize Winners” magazine.

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Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Hey guys! I realize I’ve been a little M.I.A. lately. When I got back, I was so ready to dive into so many recipe and share them with all of you, but my life has been a little tragic this last week. There has been a lot of adversity going on in my hubbies family, which I don’t feel comfortable sharing, but then just recently I found out my father had 3 mini stokes in less then 24 hours. If you are wondering how a mini stoke differs from a full on stoke, it’s that smaller blood vessels get clogged cutting off blood flow to smaller areas of the brain. Less damage, but still they were able to tell that areas in the frontal lobe of his brain had died from the lack of oxygen. It’s ironic how in my life, whenever it rains, it pours. I never have just one thing to deal with. It’s always a smorgasbord of life shoved at me all at once.

It’s funny how secure you get with things when nothing big like this has happened to you in a while, and then you find how much you’ve taken things for granted. This whole experience has been kind of hard on my family, but I’m confident that my dad’s doctors will be able to stop any further damage from occurring and resolve most of the problems that have caused the incident.

Enough with depressing stuff though!! I wanted to post to get my mind off of everything going on. So, here is one of my own recipes. I saw some Reeses Rice Krispie Treats on Pinterest, and when I went to go read the ingredients to make them, I realized that they had no marshmallows included in the recipe… HOW CAN YOU HAVE A RICE KRISPIE TREAT RECIPE AND NO INCLUDE MARSHMALLOWS!? I’m sorry. I realize I take my food a little too personally, but really. If it doesn’t have any marshmallows, in my humble opinion, it’s not a real rice krispie treat.

So, for a get together with my hubbies work friends, I decided to make my own concoction that included marshmallows. You should know though before you begin, I like my rice krispie treats overly gooey. If I can’t see a string of marshmallow when you pull apart a rice krispie treat, then there isn’t enough marshmallow. And that’s how I created this recipe to be, an ooey-gooey mess of chocolate, peanut butter, and marshmallow (with a little crunch from the cereal :). So, if you plan on serving these warm, be prepare to lick your fingers when your done. Enjoy!!

P.S. Here’s about how big you want your peanut butter cups diced into. Not too small. It’s better to have them be a little bigger then on the smaller size, cause they’re gonna fall apart a little bit when you stir them into the marshmallow. I cut mine, 2 times horizontally. Then 2 times vertically to get 9 cubs out of 1 peanut butter cup.

Printable Recipe

Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

     6 cups Cocoa Krispies Cereal
     16-18 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, diced

     5 Tbs butter or margarin
     3 Tbs light karo syrup
     1 (10 ounce) package plus 2 heaping cups miniature marshmallows
     1/3 cup peanut butter
     1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine cereal and diced Reeses. Set aside. Spray a 9 x 13 in. pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large pot melt butter over low heat. Add karo syrup and marshmallows and stir continuously until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and add cereal mixture into the pot and fold together just until cereal is evenly coated. (Peanut butter cup pieces will fall apart as you fold together your ingredients, so don’t over mix this.) Press mixture into the sprayed 9 x 13 in. pan. Set aside.

In a small microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter. Microwave for 30 second to a minute to melt. Set aside to let cool slightly. In a separate small microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate at 30 second intervals, stir between intervals, until smooth. Set aside to let cool slightly.

When peanut butter is cool enough to handle, transfer into a small zip lock bag. Clip a small piece out of the corner and pipe onto rice krispie treats, zig-zagging back and forth. Repeat steps with chocolate, placing in a small zip lock bag, and piping over the peanut butter. Either let treats sit at room temperature to allow chocolate to set up, or you can pop the pan into the fridge for about 5 minutes to speed up the process. Cut and serve.

Makes a 9 x 13 in. sheet of treats.

Printable Recipe

A FoodSnots.com Original

Cinnamon Puff Muffins

I know I promised this post yesterday, but man!! Who knew getting back in the swing of things, after having such a long break off, would be so challenging. I’ve never had more then one to three days off, and even then I wasn’t pampered like they pamper you on a cruise ship. So, needless to say, I’ve been struggling to get back to my normal routine, but today I’m feeling expecially productive πŸ™‚ First thing, have to finish posting, obviously, but then; shower, clean, start laundry, make grocery list, go grocery shopping and get all this done in time to make an awesome dinner for my hubby. And if I still have time, read some of my book (the 3rd Hunger Games book) and make a goodie for Saturday night get together.

I know, it’s gonna be a busy day!! And I’m sure my book is going to be calling my name all day, but I’ve stopped in a pretty good spot. So I have to refrain in the name of the obligation in my life. Say la vie. (Sigh) But before I can get busy with anything, got to finish this post.

I must be in a cinnamon sugar phase cause everything cinnamon sugar calls my name (that and apricots… Random, huh?). Anyways, love these muffins, but I needed some more cinnamon sugar to satisfy my craving. Plus I had all this left over melted butter that I had no clue what to do with, and I hate being wasteful. So here’s what I did different. At the end of the recipe, you’ll read “combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and (1/2 tsp) cinnamon.” I doubled this. Don’t double the 1/4 cup melted butter, just the sugar and cinnamon. Not only did this make it easier to dip the tops of my muffins, but now I had a cinnamon/sugar mixture left over. Add this to the left over melted butter, stir and pop in the fridge for a couple of minutes so the butter comes together and isn’t so runny. Then spread this onto your muffins while they are still a little warm. Cinnamon sugar heaven I tell you!! Enjoy πŸ™‚

Printable Recipe

Cinnamon Puff Muffins
     3 cups all-purpose flour
     1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
     2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
     1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
     3/4 teaspoon salt
     2 large eggs, lightly beaten
     1 1/4 cups milk
     1/3 cup butter plus 1/4 cup butter, melted and divided
     1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center of dry ingredients.

Combine eggs, milk, and 1/3 cup melted butter in a small bowl. Pour mixture into well of dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. (Batter may be lumpy.) Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups, filling three-fourths full.

Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small, shallow bowl. Let muffins cool just enough to handle into remaining 1/4 cup melted butter and then into sugar mixture until coated. Serve warm.

Makes: 12 muffins

foodsnots.com

Printable Recipe

Recipe from Cottage Living “Our Best Recipes” magazine.

My Caribbean Vacation!!

Hey Everyone! I’m back!! Well rested and so grateful to be home with my babies. But I had such an amazing time! Neatest experience ever πŸ™‚ So I though I would share some of my wonderful adventures with you guys. Be forewarned though, this post is gonna have quite a few pictures in it. On this trip, I found out that I love to take picture of old architecture. We live in Arizona, where our state just celebrated it 100th birthday, so we have next to no old buildings here.

Our first stop was flying to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where we would get on the cruise ship. But first we had a chance to look around this amazing old spanish fort, where I discovered my love for photographing old architecture. (I’ll try to narrow this down to my favorites, but here are some of our Puerto Rico pictures)

In my world if you stop to take a rest you become a subject to photograph πŸ™‚ My poor husband. He was such a good sport though. Especially because every two seconds I would tell him, “Ok, I promise last picture and I’m done.” Just to see something else that I had to photograph right after I put my camera away. But can you blame me, this place was so gorgeous!!

I loved this walkway between rooms. The curved arches one after the other were just so aesthetically appealing.

But of course, while in Puerto Rico we had to try some of the food πŸ™‚ This was a cafe we ate at for breakfast, and I just had to stop and admire the gorgeous pastries in the window. It was too early for sweets, so I restrained myself, but…

While walking around, I was totally justified in trying some goodies at lunch time πŸ™‚ We stopped at this little stand and I picked out this gorgeous bar. It’s like coconut, sweet potato, and caramel wrapped in a banana leaf and either set out to try or baked. It was amazing!! I don’t know what it was called cause nothing was labeled and the guy selling could barely speak english, but I’m gonna have to try and recreate this.

Last favorite pictures from Puerto Rico.

And then it was time to get on our ship!!

This was my first cruise, so it’s safe to say I was amazed by everything. Here was inside the centrum (main lobby) looking up. Then we were off to new locations.

Our first stop was at Tortola where we swam with Dolphins. Coolest experience ever. It’s amazing how smart these animals are.

Then stop two was St. Marten. I got up to see the sun rise and couldn’t help myself. Had to take some pictures of how pretty it all was with the ocean, islands, and the sun rays pushing though the clouds.

In St. Marten, we took an island tour, and our guide was so nice to make a special stop just for me at a pastry shop.

We ended up trying two of these gorgeous little desserts. This one was like a chocolate pudding cake, with a crunchy crust, smothered with a chocolate ganache. It was amazing!!

Pastry two was a raspberry mouse, layered with vanilla cake and raspberry jello, topped with fresh raspberries and drizzled with chocolate. If you like raspberries, you would love this. Yum!!

At St. Marten, we also stopped at this really cool beach right next to the airport. The planes get so close to you it’s incredible. The rest of our time in St. Marten was spent on a beach where we didn’t have to worry about strong air currents πŸ˜‰

St. Kitts was beautiful, other then the fact that I got a monkey forced on me. Which my husband thought was hilarious, but we got to visit this really old sugar plantation before we went zip-lining. So I got to indulge in my new found addiction again.

This smoke stack was huge!! Here is me next to it just to show how ginormous it was.

This tree was gnarly!! Had to take a picture. I guess the used to use this tree to punish the slaves on the plantation. Enough said.

Just a couple more pictures. We did a lot of snorkeling and swimming after that point, so since I don’t have an underwater camera I didn’t get a lot of shots. But here are a couple others from walking around the rainforest and the other islands.

That about wraps up my trip. I will be posting some new recipes on Wednesday, and in the next couple of weeks I’m going to be composing a post on my set ups and tips I’ve learned on food photography. There has been some requests for that, I just want to compose some photo’s so I can illustrate how I do things. So I didn’t forget about you guys. It’s coming soon!! Have a great Monday!

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

I can’t believe my trip is already here!! I will say, this last week has been so busy trying to get everything in order, and I’m exhausted. I’m going to be spending a good amount of time laying on the beach, working on my tan, reading Hunger Games, and just relaxing.

But, before I leave, I really wanted to post this recipe. I know it’s not Easter-ish really, but to be honest. I’m all holiday-ed out. Which is another sign of how desperately I need a vacation!! Back to this recipe though, this is the best lave cake recipe I’ve tried. If you’ve ever had Brio’s Molten Chocolate Cake, which is amazing, this taste just like that. The one thing I did change is, if you leave out the coffee liqueur, the cooking instruction work out fine. But if you add the liqueur the cake needs to bake longer or else is stays very runny. At least it did for me. So I baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes instead and the cakes turned out perfectly. Spongy cake on the outside with a smooth runny center. Gotta love lava cake. Enjoy and see you guys in about a week and a half!!

Printable Recipe

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes
     10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
     8 ounces (1 cup) milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
     1/2 cup all-purpose flour
     1 1/2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
     3 large eggs
     3 egg yolks
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 6 – 6 ounce custard (ramekin) cups or cupcake tin.

In a medium microwavable bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until smooth (about 1.5 minutes).

Add flour and sugar to chocolate/butter sauce.

Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth.

Add vanilla and coffee liqueur/instant coffee and mix everything until combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the each cups. Place cups on top of a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. The edge should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or fruit.

Yields: 6 cakes

Printable Recipe

Recipe from http://www.savorysweetlife.com

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
8 ounces (1 cup) milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 6 – 6 ounce custard (ramekin) cups or cupcake tin. In a medium microwavable bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until smooth (about 1.5 minutes). Add flour and sugar to chocolate/butter sauce. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Add vanilla and coffee liqueur/instant coffee and mix everything until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the each cups. Place cups on top of a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. The edge should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, or fruit.

Yields: 6 cakes

Roasted Chicken with Fennel and Lemon

So, I’m really bummed that my chicken didn’t come out golden brown like in the picture, but oh well. I even made this recipe twice to see if maybe I could get it there. But still now luck. The second time I made this recipe, though, I made some changed. I had never tried fennel before, and I love trying new things, but, I hate black licorice. Hate it!! And strangely enough, fennel taste like black licorice. Don’t think I’m crazy. It really does!

So the second time I made this recipe, I substituted the fennel with 1 large white onion and 1 large red onion. Is it called a red onion? or purple onion? Anyways, you get the hint. Point being, I liked the recipe 20 thousand times more with the onions rather then the fennel. The onion caramelizes as the chicken roasts, and develops this sweet and savory flavor that goes amazing with the chicken and the gravy. So that would be my suggestion unless you love fennel. Other then that, this recipe is amazing and super easy!! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Roasted Chicken with Fennel and Lemon
     1 (4-pound) whole roasting chicken
     1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano plus 1 sprig fresh oregano
     2 sprigs fresh marjoram
     2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 2 garlic cloves, smashed
     1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
     1 cup dry white wine
     1 lemon, cut in half
     1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges, plus some of the fronds
     1/2 teaspoon sea salt
     1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
     Herb Pan Gravy (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse chicken inside and out, removing all inside parts; cut off any excess fat, and pat dry.

Combine chopped oregano, marjoram, minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small bowl.

Place chicken in a large roasting pan on a roasting rack, breast side up. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between the skin and meat. Place oregano mixture beneath skin on breast and drumsticks.

Pour wine over chicken and into the pan.

Rub the inside cavity of chicken with lemon, squeezing juice over and around outside of chicken.

Place lemon halves, 2 fennel pieces, smashed garlic cloves, and sprig of oregano in cavity of chicken. Add 1 cup water to pan. Add remaining fennel and fronds to bottom of pan. Pour remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over breast, and add salt and pepper.

Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Roast at 400 degrees F for 1 hour or until thermometer registers 175 degrees F, basting every 20 minutes with pan liquid.

Remove chicken from oven and let rest 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour dripping from pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes. (Fat will rise to top.) Seal bag, and carefully snip off a bottom corner or bag. Drain dripping into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Reserve drippings for Herb Pan Gravy. Serve chicken, fennel, and lemons with Herb Pan Gravy.

Makes: 4 servings

Herb Pan Gravy
     2 tablespoons butter
     2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
     1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves, chopped
     1/4 cup dry white wine
     1 cup chicken broth
     1/8 teaspoon sea salt
     1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it melts; add flour, and cook stirring about 2 minutes or until flour turns light brown. Add marjoram, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

Add wine and chicken broth, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add reserved drippings from above chicken recipe to the flour mixture, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Stir in salt and pepper. Spoon over the chicken, and serve immediately. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more or the pan juices of chicken broth.

Makes: about 1 cup

Printable Recipe

Recipe from Cottage Living “Our Best Recipes” Magazine.

Roasted chicken with fennel and lemon
1 (4-pound) whole roasted chicken
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano plus 1 sprig fresh oregano
2 sprigs fresh marjoram
2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, cut in half
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges, plus some of the fronds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Herb Pan Gravy (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse chicken inside and out, removing all inside parts; cut off any excess fat, and pat dry.
Combine chopped oregano, marjoram, minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large roasting pan on a roasting rack, breast side up. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between the skin and meat. Place oregano mixture beneath skin on breast and drumsticks.
Pour wine over chicken and into the pan. Rub the inside cavity of chicken with lemon, squeezing juice over and around outside of chicken. Place lemon halves, 2 fennel pieces, smashed garlic cloves, and sprig of oregano in cavity of chicken. Add 1 cup water to pan. Add remaining fennel and fronds to bottom of pan. Pour remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over breast, and add salt and pepper.
Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Roast at 400 degrees F for 1 hour or until thermometer registers 175 degrees F, basting every 20 minutes with pan liquid.
Remove chicken from oven and let rest 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour dripping from pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes. (Fat will rise to top.) Seal bag, and carefully snip off a bottom corner or bag. Drain dripping into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Reserve drippings for Herb Pan Gravy. Serve chicken, fennel, and lemons with Herb Pan Gravy.

Makes: 4 servings

Herb Pan Gravy
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it melts; add flour, and cook stirring about 2 minutes or until flour turns light brown. Add marjoram, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Add wine and chicken broth, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add reserved drippings from above chicken recipe to the flour mixture, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Stir in salt and pepper. Spoon over the chicken, and serve immediately. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more or the pan juices of chicken broth.

Makes: about 1 cup

Printable Recipe